Making Healthy Meals for the family doesn’t have to take all day! These Quick and Healthy meal ideas taste good and are perfect for kids. Spend less time in the kitchen with my top four time saving tips.
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Does the idea of healthy meal preparation put you into a panic? I use to be the same.
I use the spend (what felt like) all day in the kitchen. Making breakfast, making lunch, snacks and dinner! I never got a break. But not anymore.
Being healthy doesn’t mean cooking elaborate meals that can take HOURS to cook. And every day? NOPE.
You can easily make quick meals that don’t cost too much and are also great for the mind and body. Here are some of my favorite tips to get you started.
Use a Slow Cooker
Although some people praise their pressure cooker, I totally love my Crockpot!
When I cook I want to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen. The less the better.
You should also get into the habit of using a slow cooker. They are so beneficial, both for stay at home moms and working moms.
I will literally turn it on in the morning. Cook on slow for a few hours and by the time I’m ready to start putting stuff together, I have most of the meal ready.
The slow cooker takes longer to prepare food, so it isn’t good when you want a meal in 30 minutes. That’s more of a job for a pressure cooker; I do have another post on the benefits of a pressure cooker you can read after.
But, the convenience of putting the ingredients into the Crockpot before dropping off the kids to school, turn it on, then come home to a dinner that is already done!
The slow cooker that I personally use has a timer and an option to stay warm once the timer is done.
One great tip when you want to make quick and healthy meals is to make multiple batches at one time. This is not the same as meal prep where you make a week’s worth of dinners at one time, but you instead make multiple batches of the same meal.
For example, if you are making your family a casserole, you would buy I’m bulk ingredients to make 2-3 batches in multiple casserole dishes instead of just one
One casserole is enjoyed for dinner, while the other two are placed in the freezer.
It doesn’t take much longer to prepare more casseroles, since all steps are done at the same time. Then, you are able to have dinners ready to go for the future.
You can do this for a lot of things not just casseroles. I even do this with Taco Soup. I just put it all together dump in a freezer safe Ziploc and stack them in the freezer!
Use Fresh Veggies
For healthy meals, try to use more fresh and whole foods, instead of canned, frozen, or processed foods.
I’m not against canned or frozen foods (ANY VEGGIE IS BETTER THEN NO VEGGIE) but cooking times can typically be faster when they vegetables are fresh.
They also have more nutrients and you don’t have to worry about defrosting or nasty can taste.
You can even meal prep some vegetables for even faster cooking. This is excellent when you are trying to speed up the process of your meals.
Use the same ingredients
Not only is this a time saving tip but this is perfect for staying on budget. Every week when I am planning out my meals, I like to see if I can cook meals that can share ingredients. So when I cook my first meal in the week, I’ll cook extra meat or chop extra veggies and then use them all week!
When you are meal planning, consider using one main ingredient that works for multiple meals.
For example, you can make a big turkey on a Sunday afternoon, put pieces of the cooked turkey in separate freezer bags or containers, and then save it for other meals.
Turkey can be used in soup, chili, sandwiches and wraps, main courses or side dishes, and endless other things.
It really doesn’t have to be a chore cooking up healthy, nutritious meals.
Quick Meal Ideas
Turkey Club Wrap
Sandwiches are an excellent way to have a delicious and filling meal that doesn’t require a lot of cooking. But, if you want to make this a healthy option, a wrap is the next best thing.
You can use whole wheat tortillas, then place all the ingredients for the turkey club inside. This might include turkey slices or cooked turkey, sliced tomato, lettuce, and mayo or your favorite dressing.
Turkey clubs often have bacon, but it can be such a pain to cook it up on the stove.
Did you know that you can microwave bacon? Yup! Mess AND hassle free bacon.
Rotisserie Chicken Salad
Rotisserie chicken is by far one of the best things to get when you want a quick and tasty meal. You get an entire cooked and seasoned chicken from the grocery store that is still warm and doesn’t need to be cooked AT ALL.
It can be used for so many things, from sandwiches to main courses. Try making a chicken salad by using the rotisserie chicken, combining it with mayonnaise, sweet corn, small bits of potato. YUM
For a healthier twist try adding some cranberries and sun flower seeds instead.
Speaking of salads, they are an excellent choice when you don’t want to do any cooking and heat up your kitchen. A popular summer salad is one that uses strawberry as a major component.
Start with your preferred greens, I use regular romaine, then top them with some sliced strawberries. You can also add other fruit if you like, along with some walnuts for added crunch and flavor. Top it off with some flavored vinaigrette, like strawberry or raspberry.
This does require using your stove a little bit, but vegetables cook so quickly, making this a very easy and fast meal.
All you need is a few minutes on low heat with some oil and your favorite veggies. Cook your rice in a rice cooker, which also doesn’t use a lot of heat like a pan on the stove would.
Put your cooked veggies on the rice and you’re good to go.
Tomato Gazpacho Soup
Tomato gazpacho soup is a seasoned tomato bisque that is served cold. While some cooking might need to be done, it is minimal and can be done beforehand.
You can enjoy it with some crackers or a side salad instead of heating up a pan to make grilled cheese.
These are just 5 quick meals you can make this week without worrying about being a slave to your kitchen. Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s an idea above to fit your preferences.